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Multiple rovers on one base

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Wondering if anyone has any tips for hooking up multiple rovers to a single base using Survey Pro?  I feel like I'm missing something very simple.  Thanks

Posted : December 11, 2019 3:34 pm
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Dave Karoly
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I don't know about Survey Pro but we do it sometimes with Access.

Simple, use one of the controllers to start the base.  Then start the rovers with their respective controllers.  Make sure rover radio frequencies match the base.  Make sure the base index matches in both rovers.  The rovers don't know the other exists, they just listen to the same base.

In other words, it's no different from using a Base with single Rover, just start a second Rover the same way.

Posted : December 11, 2019 3:47 pm
pwdesign, Gochnour44, Norman Oklahoma and 6 people reacted
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I do know a little about Survey Pro, and Dave's advise applies as well for it as it does for Access. 

Posted : December 11, 2019 4:09 pm
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If you are using a radio then you can have an infinite number of rovers, just like radios receiving signals from a radio station,,,,,,if you are using cell service, then I'm not sure if it would work.

But with a base radio there isn't anything you need to do beyond the normal set-up. I've seen rovers grab onto a base 60 miles away and work the day away, not realizing they were connecting to a different companies base.

Posted : December 12, 2019 7:14 am
pwdesign, Dave Karoly, pwdesign and 3 people reacted
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When the base is grabbed, the controller does tell you which one it has found. You are "supposed" to check! ... and then confirm.

Posted : December 12, 2019 8:30 am
John Putnam
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I had almost that scenario in October.  I'm on a large, remote job site with way to many uncoordinated surveying firms coming and going.  We had climbed, and I me mean on our hands and knees, up is plateau to recover some old stone mounds.  Our radios worked great for the first tie.  Since it took half the day to get to the monument we hung out for a couple of hours before we got another shot on the monument.  When we started the second tie the radio signal was coming in strong and clear.  Only problem was that it was using our RTCM message format.  It seems that a new company had shown up on site to do some stream cross section and was unknowingly stomping on our signal.  Luckily we could collect raw data and post process the second tie.  When we started retying points on the way back down our bases signal prevailed.

After I realized what was happening I configured the GS16 rover to listen for a specific base.  Problem solved

Posted : December 12, 2019 8:43 am
Posts: 2027
Member BeerLegger

In addition to the correct transmit frequencies, make sure that the rover and base survey styles are set up using the same protocols as well.

Regarding other bases intruding on John mentioned, always set up your rover to check the base ID. And use a non-standard frequency.

When dealers input the permitted frequencies on a base radio, they usually just do it in the order on the FCC license sheet, then select the very first one and set all receivers/radios to that frequency. The customer gets their gear back and never switches away from that frequency.

Since the FCC tends to group frequencies by region and industry, most of the surveyors in a geographic area end up with at least one or two common frequencies...which are often the first ones on the FCC list. So there can be a lot of interference in populated areas.

When I worked tech support for a dealer, if reception was intermittent or poor after checking settings, cables and batteries (plus the tab on the bottom of the whip antenna base), the next move was to change frequencies. It would almost always clear things up.


Also...if you work for a firm with office across the country, be very careful sending gear from one office to another, as your permitted frequencies in one area are often NOT the same as in another. At a previous employer, we had a base sent up from WA to AK. Crew chief grabbed it from the airport, went out and set up using the default frequency in that base - which happened to be for local emergency services. They shut us down in about ten minutes and threatened a six-figure fine. I think we managed to wrangle out of it, but just barely. The FCC does not mess around.

Posted : December 12, 2019 9:10 am
Posts: 1822
Mapper of Things Member


Really?  A base reaches 60 miles?  And nobody bothered to check a point?

Posted : December 12, 2019 1:49 pm
Posts: 320
Member BeerLegger


"Ain't no hill for a stepper!" as an old timer party chief used to tell this rookie.

Meaning that 60 miles is nothing for a guy that has access to a 3000W linear amplifier available.

Just saying.


Posted : December 12, 2019 4:40 pm